Israel Sandoval, 19-year-old from Lennox, was attending a traditional high school. He was failing his classes and not reaching his potential, he didn’t feel this school setting was a good fit for him, so he stopped attending and was out of school for one year. He heard about the SBWIB YouthBuild program through a friend who was enrolled so Israel decided to sign-up to continue his education.
Israel benefited from the smaller class sizes, the attention and support from the staff who assisted him in learning leadership skills and continuing his education at El Camino College. He loved the construction aspect of the program, the students and the staff that provided him support. He linked the staff and school to a family. Israel learned how to build the foundation of a house at YouthBuild and is applying what he has learned to help his aunt with small construction projects in her kitchen.
Israel overcame negative relationships by creating new and positive ones at YouthBuild. The school kept him focused and helped him enroll in college. Israel recently completed CPR training, received certification and certification in construction. He has also co-enrolled in El Camino College where he is taking kinesiology classes and aims to transfer to UCLA, UC Berkeley, or UC Santa Cruz after getting his Associate's Degree. Israel has considered construction as a backup career and potential business in the future. He was also co-enrolled in the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act program and received paid work experience.
In addition to his endeavors at YouthBuild, Israel attended a conference in Sacramento where he met state legislators and other YouthBuild programs. Because of the conference, he was able to reflect on helping those that want to push themselves and mentoring other students as an alumnus.
"I would tell others to definitely come to YouthBuild and be open to what they offer. The program will only work if they are willing to accept and take advantage of the services the program offers to be successful. That is what I did. For example, be open by participating in community events, being involved in the policy committee, and applying and attending the various conference opportunities YouthBuild offers."